This book is a perfect mixture of world history and human experience, unbiased and highly readable.
As we have come to expect from this master, he excels at using eye-witness testimony to illustrate how mankind can be capable of both terrible cruelty and astonishing courage.
In his books on Stalingrad and Berlin, Beevor used evidence from ordinary people to bring home the reality of life at the front as opposed to the traditional HQ view... He crams in so much and does it so well because he can.
The book that Beevor has been building towards writing - and everybody else has been anticipating reading.
His singular ability to make huge historical events accessible to a general audience recalls the golden age of British narrative history, whose giants include Gibbon, Macaulay and Carlyle
This is as comprehensive and objective an account of the course of the war as we are likely to get, and the most humanly moving to date
By deploying his keen eye for tiny detail and penchant for story telling, and then marrying them both with an acute historical investigation, Antony Beevor has once again written a book that is simply superlative.
the whole story told in the author's usual erudite yet highly readable prose
He is the most humanitarian of historians, and covers huge sweeps of history through the real stories of the individuals who experienced them. Reading this will be like having him walk me through the history of the war like a personal guide.
This imposing history can both be read as a whole or dipped into, and never fails to inform.
Beevor can be credited with single-handedly transforming the reputation of military history
This is history writ large.
If you want to understand the war as military struggle, this book is all you really need. However well you thought you knew the subject, you will learn something new on every page.
This is the place to begin if you need to get your knowledge of the war in order.
The myriad pieces of this intricate kaleidoscope are pieced together with exemplary skill ... This is a splendid book, erudite, with an admirable clarity of thought and expression
Beevor is excellent at catching the individual in the flood-tide of events
Everyone who is interested in the Second World War should read this book.
The book could not really have been done better
a masterly understanding of the conflict's many facets
Beevor's book is a pleasure to read and an example of intelligent, lively historical writing at its best
His accounts of the key moments in the Second World War have a sense of colour, drama and immediacy that few narrative historians can match
a truly rewarding account of the global conflict. Beevor has a special gift for linking great events with individual testimony
This is a book demanding to be read.
You feel yourself being carried along on the narrative flow, channelled this way and that through the pools and rapids by Beevor's expert helmanship
A magnificent performance - true excitement from one page to the next delivered in faultless prose
A British historian of great distinction and range, who ... demonstrates his mastery of his sources
remarkably well-written and informative
the most incredibly detailed research
A truly outstanding historian of war
global history at its grandest and best
For as harrowing and politically convoluted as the years 1939-1945 were, Beevor writes with such a panache and literary flair, that the reader is almost uncannily charged to keep turning the pages at a rate of ten by ten, twenty by twenty, chapter by chapter - until such point that s/he has stumbled upon the end as if by chance, as if by default.
The heart of Beevor's appeal is precisely that straightforward narrative approach, coupled with his lively, engaging style and his use of memorable, almost cinematic, set-pieces.
Brocaded with details of the great campaigns and thoughtful explanations of Hitler's murderous belligerence, The Second World War is an absorbing, unsparingly lucid work of military history